While traditional Bolognese sauces are packed with meat — often a three-way mix of ground beef, veal and pork — Giada De Laurentiis proves that veggies can indeed steal the spotlight in her top-rated recipe for Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese (pictured above).
Featuring a flavor-packed base of onion, carrots and bell pepper, Giada’s herb-laced sauce boasts a key ingredient to bulk it up in place of the meat: assorted mushrooms. “They’re very hearty and substantial,” Giada explains of the mushrooms. Just a splash of red wine adds another layer of complexity to the sauce, while a dollop of mascarpone cheese offers creaminess and a subtle tang. Giada recommends you save a bit of the pasta water when draining the noodles, as you may need it later to loosen up the sauce. Just before serving, toss the pasta with nutty Parmesan cheese to round out the flavor.